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Tag: technology

CBP Considers Affixing Body Cams to Some Border Patrol Agents

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Some Border Patrol agents may soon be wearing body cameras to record their interactions with the public.

CBP is looking for body cameras for agents who work at checkpoints and ports near the border, which often are in remote areas without telecommunications and other basic technology.

CBP on Wednesday posted a request for information for body cams, video-management systems and cloud storage.

“CBP anticipates storing most footage in CBP-owned data servers, but is also interested in cloud storage for evidentiary footage requiring long-term retention—defined as longer than two years,” the request for information states. “Footage stored will be secure, law enforcement sensitive data and should comply with all relevant federal laws, regulations and requirements. CBP also anticipates its users will require a cloud storage platform for frequently accessed files.”

CBP is asking for bids by Oct. 31.

Seven Years of FBI Records Exposed in Massive Government Data Leak

FBI cyber crime agents, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A massive data leak exposed millions of sensitive files, including records of FBI investigations, emails and bank transaction histories.

Three terabytes of unprotected data from the Oklahoma Securities Commission was available to anyone with the internet because they contained no passwords, Forbes reports.

“It represents a compromise of the entire integrity of the Oklahoma department of securities’ network,” said Chris Vickery, head of research at UpGuard, which discovered the leak. “It affects an entire state level agency. … It’s massively noteworthy.”

Vickery said “all sorts of archive enforcement actions” from the FBI were exposed.

Included was detailed information on subjects and witnesses of FBI investigations over the past seven years.

Suspects Thwart FBI Hostage Rescue Operation with a Swarm of Drones

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

FBI agents trying to rescue a hostage last year were thwarted when they spotted a swarm of drones that suspects were using to keep an eye on the raid.

The encounter involved  “high-speed low passes at the agents in the observation post to flush them,” reported Defense One’s Patrick Tucker, citing FBI chief Joe Mazel, head of the bureau’s operational technology law division, who was speaking at a conference this week.

Authorities wouldn’t disclose the location, saying the incident remains “law enforcement-sensitive.” But Defense One indicated the encounter happened “on the outskirts of a large U.S. city.”

The FBI said the suspects likely carried the drones in backpacks and then streamed the video on YouTube for the criminals to monitor.

FBI Tries to Become Hip to Attract Elite Coders to Crack Down on Cyberattacks

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of the FBI’s biggest challenges is hackers who are targeting political and financial groups and personal computers.

To combat cyberattacks, the FBI is looking for elite coders who have the technology background to help.

“One problem? A culture clash between elite coders who are attracted to casual — or even rebellious workplaces — and the agency’s bureaucratic reputation,” the Washington Post reports. 

FBI Director James Comey is trying to make the agency hip enough to attract recruits.

“We’re working very hard inside the FBI to be a whole lot cooler than you may think we are,” he said during his remarks at a Symantec Government Symposium last week.

That doesn’t mean the FBI has added “beanbags and granola and a lot of whiteboards,” Comey said.

“But we’re working very hard at marching in that direction, so that when this talent comes into our organization we are open to having them make us better — in a way that connects us and them to our mission more closely,” he said.

The Washington Post wrote:

Despite outreach at high profile hacker conferences like Black Hat and DefCon, recruitment of tech whiz kids by law enforcement and intelligence agencies has been hampered in recent years. One issue is that they have to compete with private sector gigs that can offer better salaries and benefits.

But fallout over surveillance programs revealed in Snowden documents and the FBI’s legal battle to get Apple to help it break into a locked iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, Calif., attacks has also made government work a hard sell to some.

Developer of Anonymous Tor Software Leaves Country to Avoid FBI

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of Tor’s core software developers has left the United States because she doesn’t want to expose users to potential spying.

CNN reports that the FBI wants Isis Agora Lovecruft to testify in a criminal hacking investigation.

But fearing she’ll be coerced to undermine Tor, which allows Internet users to hide their locations, she left the U.S. for Germany.

“I was worried they’d ask me to do something that hurts innocent people — and prevent me from telling people it’s happening,” she said in an exclusive interview with CNNMoney.

The FBI declined to comment.

FBI Actually Paid Less Than $1.3M to Unlock San Bernardino iPhone

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Despite a suggestion from FBI Director James Comey that it cost the FBI about $1.3 million to unlock an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, the price tag was a lot more inexpensive.

Business Insider report that the FBI paid under $1 million for the technology to unlock the phone.

Investigators won’t need to pay extra money to use the technology to open other iPhone 5C models running on iOS9.

The FBI paid a contractor to bypass the phone’s encryption features.

FBI Director Says Bureau ‘Purchased a Tool’ to Unlock iPhone

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey said the FBI “purchased a tool” to unlock an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Comey, who made the disclosure during a speech at Ohio’s Kenyon College, didn’t elaborate on the technology.

“The people that we bought this [tool] from – I know a fair amount about them and I have a high degree of confidence that they are very good at protecting it, and their motivations align with ours,” Comey said during a question-and-answer period following his talk, Fox News reports. 

The FBI is expected to share details with some members of Congress.

Comey said the technology only works on an iPhone 5C.

“This doesn’t work on [an iPhone] 6S, doesn’t work in a 5S, and so we have a tool that works on a narrow slice of phones,” he added.

WhatsApp Poised to Become Subject of Next Justice Department Encryption Showdown

WhatsApp

WhatsApp

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Apple isn’t the only tech company fighting the FBI over privacy concerns.

The FBI is in court with WhatsApp, which allows users to send messages and make phone calls over the Internet, the New York Times reports.

The world’s largest mobile messaging service has added encryption that makes it impossible for the Justice Department to access, even when a judge orders a wiretap.

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, and the Justice Department declined to comment because the case is under seal. But it does not involve terrorism.

The Times wrote:

To understand the battle lines, consider this imperfect analogy from the predigital world: If the Apple dispute is akin to whether the F.B.I. can unlock your front door and search your house, the issue with WhatsApp is whether it can listen to your phone calls. In the era of encryption, neither question has a clear answer.